GOOD NEWS: Monday morning, thanks to members’ hard work and testimony, the Greene County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to recommend that the DNR deny the permit for a 5,000-head, Cargill-backed factory farm near Jefferson.

This is a great first step! The DNR now has 30-days to make their decision.

But, members aren’t done yet. Next Tuesday, they’ll return to the Supervisors for a public hearing on ANOTHER proposed 5,000-head, this time Prestage-owned hog factory near Rippey.


Join the Fight!

If we want to see more wins like Greene County all across the state, there are four things you can do right now to help:

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Click LIKE  or TWEET to share this good news and to cheer on Greene Co. member for their work to stand up for our air, water and quality of life.

We won!

Organizing works. Just ask the CCI members who have, in just a few weeks time, mobilized their neighbors to stop a proposed 5,000-head Cargill-backed hog factory in Dallas County.

The neighbors responded quickly – engaging the developer directly on his doorstep, sending a Mother’s day card to the developer’s wife, and picketing outside the car wash owned by the developer.

And just as the neighbors were preparing to testify at the Dallas County Board of Supervisors, they received this note from the developer:

It’s proof once again that positive change works best when real people are telling their stories, engaging their neighbors, and standing up to confront corporate power and change hearts and minds.

We faced huge odds; there’s no doubt this was an uphill battle. But it shows that People Power pays off. We were only able to do this because of the support and hard work of members like you.

This is a big win, but it’s critical that we stay hopeful and keep fighting. There are a number of other factory farms across the state still moving forward and we need you to get involved.

Join the Fight!

If we want to see more wins like Dallas County all across the state, there are four things you can do right now to help:

Finally, click LIKE or TWEET to share this great news with your networks:

A truthful, and heartbreaking, letter-to-the-editor from Iowa CCI member Charlotte Witry from Waterloo.

She ask the telling question: who do our government protections, rules and regulations work for – everyday people or corporate ag?

Read the letter, then add your name to the growing list of Iowans telling the Iowa DNR to crack down on factory farms here:



No fairness in the way neighbors are treated

It is 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. I just opened the door to let the dog out and was greeted by a foul-smelling manure odor from the factory hog farm that is located 1 mile west of our residence. I have a heartsick feeling because there are three more factory hog lots of 2,400 head each under construction within 1.5 miles of our home.

Thus, we are surrounded. No matter from which way the wind blows, we will get the noxious, possibly health-threatening stink.

Our farm has been in our family for more than 100 years. We have lived here, farmed the land, raised our family, cared for, worked for and improved our farmstead through the years. Not only has our quality of life been stolen, but our greatest asset, our home’s value, has been diminished and is now worth a fraction of its prior value.

Even a criminal gets his day in court. We get nothing. No hearing, no judge, no jury, no compensation. Is this what our founding fathers in our Constitution meant by freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Have our esteemed rulers in Des Moines decided that huge corporations’ rights to greedy profits supersede the rights of the individual? The government is charged with guaranteeing these rights for all citizens. It has failed miserably in this obligation.

The courts have ruled that government cannot take individual property for new roads, etc., without just compensation. Can the government make laws to enable the individual citizen’s property to be diminished in liveability and in value without compensation? What is fair and where is the logic?

As a result of events not of our making and beyond our control, a life’s work, savings and all of our dreams are destroyed with no hope or possibility of reversal. Is this really America?

— Charlotte Witry, Waterloo


Learn more

  • See the map illustrating the influx of new/expanding factory farms this spring and what CCI members are doing to fight back.

Take Action

Right now, while hundreds of families are worried about their quality of live, property values and environmental impact, the Assoc. of Business and Industry is trying to formalize a rule that would force the Iowa DNR to permanently take a “hands off approach” to factory farms.
  • Join as an Iowa CCI member today or chip in $10 to support our organizing on this issue.
  • Sign up for our E-Mail Action list to get the latest updates


Please LIKE or TWEET to share ask your friends to take action. Help us get 500 emails sent to the DNR this week.

Here’s a great letter to the editor that appeared in the May 10, 2012 Des Moines Register from CCI member Ray Harden. He does a great job illustrating why Dallas County – or any other county – doesn’t need any more factory farms. Good job Ray!




Dallas County doesn’t need another hog-raising facility


There are currently 51 confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, in Dallas County. Now another one is being planned for the Beaver Township, between Minburn and Bouton, producing 10,000 hogs a year.

The hogs will make 1,277,510 gallons of manure that will be spread on 606 acres twice a year. The waste could flow into Slough Creek, which flows into Beaver Creek and eventually into the Des Moines River near Johnston.

This hog confinement operation could add more pollutants to Iowa’s already impaired waterways. The additional nutrients cause algae blooms and possible fish kills. Also, the runoff contains harmful bacteria and other chemicals that could work their way into the water supply.

People who live near the CAFO will be able to smell it. These CAFOs produce several noxious gases which have human health risk. Besides the odor, the residents of the area will have a reduction in their property values. The developer of the CAFO lives in Boone County, upwind and several miles away from the location.

The Dallas County supervisors will hold a public hearing on this issue before granting the construction permit. The hearing is May 15 at 7 p.m. at 902 Court St. in Adel. Dallas County does not another hog confinement operation that pollutes the water and fouls the air.

— Raymond Harden, Perry

> Learn more about the influx of new/expanding factory farms across the state.

> Write your own letter to the editor. Click here for a few tips!


Click LIKE or TWEET to share if you think this is a great letter.


After several years of limited growth in the state, the recent surge in factory farms may be attributed to a number of factors: speculations about hog prices and demand (new trade deal with Korea), a dip in corn prices, increase in chemical fertilizer prices. Or, to simplify it even more, corporate greed.

But, here in Iowa, we also know Gov. Branstad’s administration, Iowa legislators and the corporate ag lobby are pushing for an increasingly lax regulatory environment for corporate hog factories and are intent on gutting the Iowa DNR’s enforcement abilities.

Right now, while hundreds of families are worried sick about their future quality of life, property values and the environment impact, the Association of Business and Industry is pushing a new rule that would put into law that our Iowa Department of Natural Resources take a “hands off ” approach to factory farm enforcement.

The reality is they already do this in too many cases, but formalizing this practice will only lead to more factory farm expansion and more manure spills and water pollution.

Tell the Iowa DNR to crack down on factory farms today and say no to formalizing a weak environmental oversight environment that welcome factory farm expansion.

Members have already submitted more than 150 comments on the new rule. Help us double that number.


<< Return to factory farm fight page


Add your voice today and help spread the word by clicking LIKE or TWEET below.

Factory farms are not the “smell of money,” but the polluting stench of corporate ag.


These giant hog factory corporations take the profits and leave our local communities with the problems – lower property values, damaged to our roads and bridges, and more polluted water ways.


Behind almost all of the new and expanding factory farms across the state are a small handful of giant hog factory corporations:


Prestage Farms

Based in North Carolina, Prestage Farms is the fifth largest hog corporation in the country with 165,000 sows. They have more than 100 factory farms across the state, including 10 sites already in Poweshiek County where they are trying to build or expand.

Iowa Select Farms

Based in Iowa Falls, Iowa Select Farms is the sixth largest hog corporation in the country with 160,000 sows, with a history of environmental and permit violations here in Iowa. They are looking to do a massive expansion in Northeast Iowa.


Based in Minnesota, Cargill is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world. It’s the eighth largest hog corporation in the country with 123,000 sows, slaughtering more than 10 million hogs each year. In addition to backing factory farm construction, they own feed mills and pork processing facilities.

You will rarely see Cargill’s name on a construction permit, but if you do a little digging you will find that they are behind some of the most aggressive factory farm expansion in the state.  We have heard they are looking to expand at least 30 sites in Southeast Iowa alone.


Think about the numbers: We can conservatively estimate that each sow farrows 20 pigs a year. That helps put Prestage’s 165,000 sows a year in perspective.


Our factory farm organizing is as much about confronting corporate power as it is helping everyday Iowans protect our environment and stand up for their quality of life. We need to strong policies, regulations and economy that benefits the common good not just corporate interests.

Join the Fight

Tell the Iowa DNR to crack down on factory farms and say no to weakened environmental enforcement. Take action NOW.

Learn More

 << Return to Factory Farm fight page